Top Pros and Cons of the Apple Watch for Nurses

The Apple Watch is more popular than ever, selling more to consumers during just one quarter than “the entire Swiss watch industry combined,” according to Business Insider

While this full-featured product is sought after by people from all walks of life, for nurses, the Apple Watch represents an opportunity to efficiently accomplish many daily tasks. 

Although not officially touted as nursing technology, the Apple Watch has many pros— including the ability to function hands-free—that enhance nursing. 

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Nurses use watches as a part of their everyday practice for many reasons, ranging from taking pulses to setting reminders to check on patients or administer medications.

Additionally, many rely on the functions of their cell phones to look up important information, communicate with team members and log information to chart later on. 

All of that and more can be accomplished with just the Apple Watch.

The current Series 3 watch has cellular, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity, has an enormous face compared to traditional watches and offers language, dictation and Siri support in dozens of languages. 

You can time your pulse-taking, dictate notes and connect with others, all while providing patient care and largely hands-free.

The Series 4 Apple Watch, which analysts estimate will be released in Fall 2018 is expected to include an always-on Siri function so you can summon assistance, launch apps or make calls without pushing buttons or even touching your watch. 

That means nurses won’t have to interrupt precious patient time to accomplish any of those functions, so they can provide more effective and efficient care and work towards more positive overall outcomes.

Cons of Apple Watches for Nurses

If you’re considering purchasing an Apple Watch to add to your nursing technology collection, keep in mind there are some drawbacks to this device. 

One of the most significant is that the Apple Watch is iPhone dependent — you must have an iPhone with an active cellular account for the Apple Watch to access your apps and perform its primary functions.

That means if you’re an Android user right now, you’ll have to convert before buying your new watch. 

Another con is that while many apps have become available through Watch OS, they’ll sometimes function differently than on your iPhone or other Apple device. 

This is primarily due to the much smaller screen space and a limitation in the buttons and gestures you can make. 

When you first purchase an Apple Watch, you set it up using your iPhone’s Apple Watch app and can learn which iPhone apps are compatible with it.

To test whether an Apple Watch would be beneficial to you, visit an Apple Store near you or try online virtual test drives to fully explore its offerings.

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